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Today the habit of tea drinking is inexorably linked to England despite the fact that the British were fairly late on the tea scene, in historical terms. Ironically the first mention of tea in English literature is a translation of a Dutchman's travels to the East. Tea was first brought to England via Holland on Dutch ships. As tea grew to become an 'in' beverage, the British government became quite incensed that a nation as tiny as the Netherlands could control the shipment of tea to the UK. In 1651 the British government passed the Navigation Acts, which forbade the importation of any products on non-British ships. Traders and Dutchmen, being resourceful, continued the trade in the usual manner but for one little wrinkle - the tea was transshipped in Holland onto British ships!
Early in British life tea was known as a health beverage and claimed all sorts of curative powers. In the 1650's, Garway's Coffee House proclaimed that:
"Tea makes the body active and lusty. Tea is declared to be the most wholesome;
preserving perfect health until extreme Old Age"
Afternoon tea was the invention of Anna, wife of the seventh Duke of Bedford. At the time custom dictated only two planned meals per day: a hearty breakfast and a late evening dinner. Anna in an effort to ease the mid-day "sinking feeling", began instructing her servants to prepare tea and cakes in the late afternoon. Thus began a fashionable habit, which still exists today.
Britain is steeped in tea history. Think of: High Tea, the Brown Betty, American War of Independence, Opium Wars, The Boxer Rebellion, Clipper Ship races from Fuzhou, China to Portsmouth UK, the Earl of Grey, English Breakfast etc.
Brewing for Best Results
Ideal Brewing Temperature: 209°F/98°C.
Minimum Brewing Temperature: 194°F/90°C.
Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to 209°F/ 98°C. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea per 8 oz of fluid water. Steep 3-5 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time, the stronger the tea).
Milk / Sweetener / Lemon / Mint
Tea(s) From: Sri Lanka, Kenya, India
Region(s): Nuwara Eliya, Dimbula, Uva / Nandi Highlands, Kericho / Nilgiri
98% Ethical Tea Partner
Luxury Ingredients: Black tea
Iced Tea instructions
Per Serving: Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to 209°F/ 98°C. With and infuser, use 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea per 6-7 oz of fluid water. Steep 5 minutes. Add filtered hot tea to 16 oz glass filled with ice. (Some luxury teas will turn cloudy when poured over ice).
Per Pitcher: Makes 1 Quart. Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to 209°F/ 98°C. Place 6 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea in a heat resistant container. Pour 1 ¼ cup of prepared water over the tea leaves. Steep 5 minutes. With a fine mesh sieve, filter the hot tea liquor to the serving pitcher filled with ice. Add cold filtered water to top off. (Some luxury teas will turn cloudy when poured over ice).
Making an amazing cup of tea requires several things. High quality tea, filtered or freshly drawn cold water, correct water temperature, time of infusion, and filters/infusers. Unfiltered water or too hot of water can ruin the best of teas. Always use filtered or freshly drawn cold water. Any flavor from water treatments or heavy minerals such as lime or calcium can taint the water. Brew at the ideal temperature. Too hot of water can scorch the leaves and produce a bitter brew. If you find that the tea is still bitter following the recommended brewing temperature, try lowering the brew temperature another 5 to 10 degrees. Use infusers that allow the tea leaves to fully expand and has full contact with the water. Ditch the tea bags. Know the steeping time for your tea. Too long of steeping can make your tea bitter and undesirable. Too short of time will make a weak tea. Don’t make tea in the microwave.
We strongly recommend using filtered or freshly drawn cold water brought to a rolling boil when brewing all types of tea. Today’s water has been known to carry viruses, parasites and bacteria. Boiling the water will kill these elements and reduce the potential incidence of water-borne illness. Cool the water to the ideal brewing temperature before brewing.